Well, it has been a LONG time since I posted a blog entry so I'm way overdue!
Emma News: The Emma Expansion has been printed and is currently on the boat to the US! We will be fulfilling our Kickstarter rewards once they games arrive and then will release the game into our distribution channels! We'll announce our release date as soon as it is set, but I anticipate it will be in early 2016.
Other News: I just spent the weekend at Gamehole Con in Madison, WI where Marrying Mr. Darcy and the Undead Expansion were both very well received. I also did three interviews with various folks and the first one has been posted! I somehow managed to be fairly articulate. So +3 Wit points for me! Thanks to Guys, Games and Beer for checking out the game and being fun to talk to! (My interview begins at 24:43)
Well, it has been way too long since I wrote any kind of blog post, but we've kind of been in a waiting game for the past couple of months. Our second print run was mostly sold out by January because we underestimated our Christmas popularity. There are still copies available at Amazon in the US, but overseas stock is harder to find. I'm expecting the third print run to arrive at our distributor any day now and we doubled our order from our previous print run, so hopefully we'll be able to keep things in stock more consistently now.
Anyway, I've delayed launching a Kickstarter campaign for the new Emma Expansion because we've been out of stock with the base game. However, the design of the expansion is pretty much complete, just a couple of rule clarifications and tweaks, but it is basically there! The art is well under way, all of the Emma characters have been drawn. We're still working on getting the graphics ready for the new Event cards but they shouldn't take too long to complete.
Once the new MMD print run arrives at the distributor, we'll get started on a Kickstarter campaign for the Emma Expansion. I think this should be within the next month or so.
Thanks so much for your support! Stay tuned!
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, we are able to sell our PDF Print & Play of Marrying Mr. Darcy online. This is a good option if you want to spend less money, enjoy DIY craft projects, or MMD is not readily available in your part of the world. While the price is low, there is some labor involved in creating your print & play set. I've gotten a few questions about making Print & Plays, so I'm going to try and document every step in this blog.
1. Buy and download the Print & Play .ZIP files. You can do that here.
2. Unzip the ZIP files. This will give you access to the PDF files inside.
3. Open the PDF files. Most computers already have Adobe software installed that can open and print PDF files. However, if you don't, you can get Adobe Reader for free here.
4. You will see that the game comes with several PDF files. Each of these is a a different component of the game. Let's look at each of these:
4A. Each "card" file is a different deck in the game. For the "Event" deck and "Character" deck the first page of the file is the card back. The other pages of these files are the card fronts. I suggest printing all of the card fronts first, flipping over the paper, and then printing the card backs on the other side.
4B. For the "suitor," "heroine," and "player guide" decks, these files are only 2 pages each. They should be printed double sided, but make sure that with the "heroine" and "player guide" decks that the cards line up properly. For example, in the heroine deck, Elizabeth Bennet should be on the front and back of her individual card when it is cut out.
4C. There are a few files for the Rules depending on how much you want to print or in what format. I would suggest looking at all the rule files and then decide which ones you want to print.
5. Print your cards and rules. On your print settings, be sure to select "Actual size" so the cards don't shrink. If you don't have a printer, you can often find a local copy store or printer (Kinkos, Staples, Office Max, UPS Store, etc.) that can do this for you. I would suggest printing on cardstock or a heavier paper for durability. If you have a store print your copy, they will probably need fairly specific instructions, so be familiar with the files so you can relay instructions.
6. Cut out your cards. The best way to do this is with a cutting mat, exacto knife, and ruler. Set the page down so you are looking at the card fronts. Set your ruler along the guides at the sides of the page and make your cut. I have found it best to stop and start the knife about 1/4 inch from the edge of the paper. This way the ruler guides don't get cut off the paper!
7. Assembly and general craftiness. Find or purchase a 6-sided dice to go with your game and you are ready to play! You might consider purchasing some Eurosize card sleeves if you want to protect the cards and make them a bit easier to shuffle. If you are an extra crafty type, you might make a box to hold your cards, dice and rules in. Here is one made by justinboy24!
Or, if you want a really special box for your print & play, check out this tin available from Customized Girl. It is the perfect size and shape to fit your custom game!
8. Read the rules, get some friends together, make some snacks (optional but highly encouraged) and have a great time playing Marrying Mr. Darcy! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me! Enjoy!
Check out the review of Marrying Mr. Darcy as well as a game giveaway (for US residents) over at Austenesque Reviews!
9/10 I love how this game was still fun and playable even if you had no knowledge of Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen! A perfect game for Janeites who want to share their love for Jane Austen with their significant others, family members, and friends (without them feeling tortured or bored!) The game is elegant and the artwork stunning. Literary-based games are the best!
Read the entire review and enter to win here!
I just returned home from a long vacation visiting my husband's family and our friends who live in New Hampshire. I managed to bring the completed Alpha test of the Emma expansion along and got in a couple 2 and 4 player testing sessions thanks to my husband Erik Evensen, and friends Matt Talbot and Jen Omand.
Things went ok and we had a fun time, but there were definitely some issues. Matt played as Mr. Woodhouse. His superpower lets him remove cards from the young ladies characters since he doesn't want anyone to get married and leave him to live alone in his old age. (This is a little out of canon character for him, but it was an idea I was running with.) He earns points for every lady who becomes an Old Maid at the end of the game. Mr. Woodhouse is WAY overpowered because he slaughtered everyone both times we played. We even adjusted the scoring rules for the second play through and Mr. W still ended up with a house full of Old Maid companions.
This may have also been due to the fact that there are currently only 4 Suitors in the game. (Mr. Martin, Mr. Elton, Frank Churchill, and Mr. Knightly) and all of them are fairly difficult to get. So the combination of difficult suitors, too few of them, and Mr. W being kind of a jerk basically ruined everyone's chances. So, some significant balance issues to work on.
Moving forward for the next iteration of the Alpha test. I'm planning on adding Anne Taylor as the 6th playable character and changing Mr. Woodhouse to 3 Event cards that occur in the deck, as opposed to being a playable character. I feel like his super power just messed with the mechanics too much, though he might be usable in a 6 player game?? I'll also add Mr. Weston as the 5th suitor- probably easier to get. I also might adjust the rules so that unless an Event card gives you a power to change it, all ladies must roll for suitors in an order from lowest points to highest points. (This would change the order for each lady.) I think this would make the press your luck mechanic more interesting at the end of the game.
Anyway, most of what I wrote above was pretty stream of consciousness and probably didn't make a lot of sense, but hey, what are blogs for? The good news is that I think a LOT of the work is still good, especially the Event cards which took the longest to write. So we're making progress. My goal was to get this to Kickstarter backers by October and I think we are definitely on track to meet that goal.
I've been working on the Emma Expansion pretty diligently for the past few weeks. I finally got the files finished last Thursday and got my copies back from the printer today. This is just in time to take them on a trip to New Hampshire where I'll hopefully get the chance to do some play testing with some friends of mine. I just have to pack it up with Marrying Mr. Darcy and we'll be good to go!
After we work out the bigger bugs, I'll rewrite the cards and get the files prepped to send out to Kickstarter backers. I'm not sure how long this will take- probably depends on how well it works and how many changes there are. I'm guessing the play testing won't take nearly as long as the original Marrying Mr. Darcy took (many, many months) since a lot of the basic mechanics are similar as opposed to starting from nothing. Here's hoping!
Karen Doornebos, an author and JASNA Chicago member, reviewed Marrying Mr. Darcy for Booklist Online playing with a table full of fellow Janites from JASNA Chicago.
When it came to discussing the game’s writing, the word “charming” was bandied about, and that speaks volumes from a discerning Austen crowd!
Check out the full blog and review here!
2. Brain storming
I have a bunch of notes of random ideas for various cards and character powers. This was significantly easier than brainstorming the original game. Since I decided early on that Emma should be an expansion/companion to Marrying Mr. Darcy, several of the mechanics were already in place.
Eventually I started writing cards into my spreadsheet (picture above). I actually started by creating the left hand column which gave me an idea of what event cards were in MMD (like party cards, scandal cards) as a rough guide to what to include in Emma. It is definitely not going to be exactly the same- for example there are not as many scandals in Emma, but there will be much more Meddling. So there are some new mechanics that go along with gossiping, meddling, "helping" your friends, and my favorite - match making. I'm still writing cards for the beta test but as of today I'm about 2/3 of the was done.
4. Making "cards"
I had my husband set up a file that I could transfer my written text into a card size text box in a document that will eventually become the PDF Print and Play. I probably should wait until all the cards are written in the spreadsheet, but seeing it look like an actual card is really motivating. These are about 1/3 complete. We're keeping them very simple and art free until we've got the game play and text finalized.
That's where I am at this point! Once I finish I'll do some in-house alpha testing, make revisions, and then send the files out to Kickstarter backers. I am optimistic that we would be able to eventually Kickstart a print run of the expansion and make it available in stores.
The fact that Darcy went for a scandalous hussy known for wearing low-cut gowns and shamelessly flirting with soldiers made me question whether or not he’s such a catch after all.
I was very impressed with this young woman, Lily, who is half of the review team behind The Chalk. Lily and her dad review tabletop games and are posting the reviews on youtube. She clearly has good taste in books and also did an excellent walk-through at the start of the video. You can check out their review of Marrying Mr. Darcy below. Consider subscribing to them on youtube or twitter @chalkreviews.
I think this is a great game if you are a Pride and Prejudice fan...I had a lot of fun playing it with my family.
Musician, conductor and game designer.